PASCO, Wash. - A local nonprofit that helps kids with special needs be a cowboy or cowgirl for the day is branching out from the Pacific Northwest for the first time.
Rascal Rodeo, founded by Pasco native Ann-Erica Whitemarsh, was invited to hold their own rodeo during the National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas.
“It’s like the Super Bowl for rodeo,” said Whitemarsh.
That means Rascal Rodeo will get exposure like it’s never gotten before. The NFR draws more people to Vegas than any other time of the year.
They were originally asked to be one of the vendors, but Whitemarsh suggested that they hold their own event and the organizers were on board.
“It didn’t really sink in until I was trying to organize the whole thing and convince potential volunteers to bring their horses down to the Las Vegas strip and Mandalay Bay,” said Whitemarsh. “It’s an awesome opportunity, and we’re super excited to get down there and share the love.”
Whitemarsh leaves Wednesday for Vegas, and her event will be held on Sunday. The National Finals Rodeo gets underway on Thursday.
In total, about 30 volunteers from Washington, Oregon and Idaho will be traveling to Vegas to help put on the Rascal Rodeo event. Another 50-60 volunteers coming in from other parts of the country are expected to help as well.
The first-time trip comes ahead of the nonprofit’s 10-year anniversary in 2020.
“The Las Vegas event puts us kind of at a national level,” said Whitemarsh. “Maybe we’ll reach out to more states.”
Rascal Rodeo doesn’t charge anyone any money to participate in their events, and they’re able to do this through business sponsors and community donations. The Vegas event alone will cost them $10,000.
If you’d like to help, you can donate to Rascal Rodeo on their website or on Facebook at any time. You can also text RODEO to 41444.
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